How Do You Measure Success?

How people measure success is a question well worth exploring. For the coach of an athletic team, it may be measured in terms of wins and losses. The entrepreneur might well measure success in terms of profits and losses; by the bottom line if you will. A Commander Personality, someone who is task driven, might well measure success in terms of projects completed or goals attained. The Entertainer Personality who is driven by factors such as likeability and friends made might judge success by his/her popularity. The Relater Personality may choose to measure success by the number of relationships created, bridges built rather than burned; by how well people “get along”. The Organizer will undoubtedly choose to measure in terms of compliance with rules and regulations or policies and procedures. Each personality type will have a standard against which success is measured.

At this point, I would like to suggest that there is a standard of measurement that all of the personalities could use. It is a standard that would be appropriate for each. The standard was suggested to me by a co-worker recently when he quoted Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and many other novels and stories.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

I believe that this is the standard by which Great Leaders judge their successes. They recognize that their legacy will be the future leaders that they identify, mentor, and whose successes they influence. Recognizing that their own time on this earth is finite, Great Leaders choose to put their efforts into building the future. They will be remembered for the new generation(s) of leaders that they create and leave behind to carry on the mission of helping people build successful lives and careers.

Have you had the opportunities afforded by influence of a Great Leader who influenced you and helped you build your success? Will you follow in that individual’s footsteps and build not only your own legacy but continue to build that person’s legacy? The effect of planting seeds is much like the ripples created when we throw a pebble into a pond. The ripples spread out and touch people we may never know … but the legacy is carried on by them. Click “Comment” to share the story of how a Great Leader helped you build your legacy.

Tom Hoisington is a speaker, trainer, and author whose goal is to provide leaders and potential leaders with tools that empower them to build teams that are creative and cost effective along with a clearer understanding of how personality types interact within those teams. He can be contacted at